Alleviating Stress In Police Agencies

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Phillip Neely
Craig S. Cleveland

Keywords

Law Enforcement, Police Misuse of Force, Police Stressor

Abstract

Policestress has been examined in many studies, many of which have focused upon thedevelopment of prevention and treatment programs for the police officers(Maslach, 1982; Maslach & Jackson, 1979; Mitchell, 1983; Mitchell &Everly, 1993). The trend of combating stress began with the police agenciesusing employee assistance programs, funding conferences, conducting research,and establishing prevention programs, but the fact remains that the health ofpolice officers and their families becomes a large concern as most officerstend not use free counseling due to concerns regarding confidentiality and thecompetence of the counselors. An example of one program is the New JerseyCOP-2-COP confidential hotline for police officers and their families (Ussery& Waters, 2006). COP-2-COP was a volunteer program and its usefulness wasseen post-September 11, 2001, in its response to the needs of the survivors ofthe World Trade Center disaster and also after the New Orleans disaster in theCritical Incident Stress Debriefing process after Hurricane Katrina. Police stress can have a bad influence onpolice performance and can cause many problems such as poor job performance,increased accidents, sleep disturbances, marital discord, domestic violence,posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, suicide, alcohol and other drugabuse, ulcers and other digestive disorders, respiratory ailments, andcardiovascular disease.

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